Over the past few years, the hype around music festivals has grown significantly worldwide. Music lover's everywhere spend months, if not years, saving up to the last cent with the hopes of obtaining coveted tickets that (depending on the festival) sell for hundreds of dollars.
Here in L.A., the most notoriously and widely attended music festival is Coachella. Coachella: a two-weekend, three-day music festival that more or less shuts down the city of Indio, California for the duration of its event. Dating back to 1999, the Coachella stages have seen countless renowned artists such as Weezer, The Strokes, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The White Stripes, Jay-Z, Kanye West, LCD Soundsystem and MANY MORE!
Music festivals, like Coachella, were first organized as a way for fans to unwind with some of their favorite artists and living for the pure satisfaction of artistic expression. However, over the years, music festivals have come to signify something much greater than the art of music and has begun to emphasize fashion:
(Tap on image to scroll through library):
The idea of merging a space for music with a space for fashion is no surprise, as ultimately, both are creative and thoughtful forms of artistic expression. However, the question that I would like to raise is: What is the actual incentive for many of the festival goers? While there is a good chance that festival goers are dressing in such a way to express their own personal style, how much of this is possibly embellished by the excuse of 'looking cool at a festival'?
In the photos above, it is very clear that there is a consistency amongst the styles being represented: whimsical, bohemian, edgy, deliberate, statement-piece-heavy, etc. Is it a mere coincidence that most of the individuals attending these festivals are all more or less dressing the same? In talking about the role that fashion plays in these music festivals, I do not mean to minimize the form of stylistic expression. In fact, it's music festivals like Coachella, FYF, and Made in America that are often the impetus of style inspiration. With that said, I am fully on board with any organic style-statements being made at such festivals.
In recent years, it has been known for varying clothing stores or boutiques to often times hold contests throughout the duration of music festivals inciting attendees to post their looks to Instagram or Facebook and tagging the store in a chance to win gift cards, shopping sprees, along with other incentives. Are these contests promoting organic style or are they merely encouraging individuals to boast some kind of social-media street cred while simultaneously pushing out marketing tactics?
Regardless of these questions being raised, festival fashion has become part of the festival culture. During the Spring season, stores noticeably begin to market their merchandise with the intention of providing looks for individuals attending festivals. Ultimately, the relationship that fashion and music has been able to cultivate through the spectrum of music festivals is one that is beneficial for all!
What do you think? Is festival fashion genuine? Do you think that this is a good cultural transformation? Let us know below!
Post by: Avery Ciarrocchi